Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Capture One Encourages Subscriptions

Jack Williams:

After 1st February 2023, new perpetual license purchases will not receive any feature updates (16.x)

This means that any updates containing new features and functionality will not be included in your license purchase. However, bug fixes and optimizations will be included (16.x.x) until a new paid version is released (16.x).

Finally as a subscription license always provides you with access to the latest version, subscribers will also not be affected by these changes.


The changes we are making allow us to shift to the latest software development practices without removing perpetual licenses altogether. While over half of our users are on a subscription and close to 80% of new users choose a subscription, we still understand that perpetual licenses are important for many of you. That’s why we’re committed to keeping the option open.

I don’t understand the point of doing feature updates throughout the year but withholding them from certain customers. The stated goal is to move faster, but, if anything, this would create extra development work because now bug fixes might need to be applied on top of two different branches. It seems as though the actual goal was to discourage people from purchasing perpetual licenses without getting rid of them entirely. It also sounds like they are changing the deal for people who recently bought upgrades thinking they would get a year’s worth of features, as before.


8 Comments RSS · Twitter

Go look at the C1 article to see one of the most spectacular footbullets I can ever recall seeing a company engage in. Textbook stuff for how to alienate your customer base, and drive them to your competitors. The ratioing of downvotes for the C1 announcement, and upvotes for the "this is dodgy, and I want a refund" responses, is epic.

C1 has had this weird vibe for a while now - constantly sending out discount emails, discounts that made new licences cheaper than upgrading existing licences, there's a real stench of desperation around the company.

It's pretty easy to see that as a symptom of the VC backing that AFAIK took over the company when it split from its Phase One parent, and are looking for a quick revenue -> IPO -> exit.

Kevin Schumacher

I have no idea who this company is but I'm LOLing pretty hard at the fact they couldn't even bother to give a year to the people who bought in the last couple months before the announcement. Like that two months was really the critical dealbreaker between them surviving and not.

Subscription is a deal breaker!

"they are changing the deal for people who recently bought upgrades thinking they would get a year’s worth of features"

Wouldn't they previously have kept those features in a separate branch anyway, and released them as a new full version at some point? I assume what they're now doing is merging features into their main branch faster, but disabling them for people who don't have a subscription. This probably *is* less effort for them.

Fjölnir Ásgeirsson

As it is now there’s no difference in running with a subscription or a perpetual license, you just stop being able to run new versions when the major number changes.
With this new setup they’ll have to have feature flags for all the newly added stuff.

The only reason I can imagine for this is that they want to get rid of perpetual licenses. Which are ironically the reason why a lot of people (including me) switched away from Lightroom and to C1.

@Plume It sounds like they were already doing feature updates throughout the year, just fewer of them. I guess maybe the plan now is to feature flag the new features while merging the fixes, but either way it’s two public “branches” whereas before they had one.

The current "perpetual licence" model is they do an annual release, you get any updates throughout the year, there's upgrade discounts (which have been getting smaller and smaller), and bugs in previous versions can be fixed.

The fundamental issue in this new model appears to be that you have to re-buy the entire app (there's no ugrade pricing) just to get the point update added features - if they do 12 feature adds a year, that's 12 full app purchases.

A bigger problem is that bugfixes appear to be set to end when a new paid feature release comes out. Again, if they do multiple updates per year, your bugfix window may only be months or weeks.

I have been subscribing to C1 for years and really like the core product. They have gone all Microsoft on us for a while now with differentiating their sole product into dozens of variants, doing weird discounts and price change etc. This has the obvious effect of alienating users and ruining brand reputation in general.

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